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 Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The total number of mobile connections in the UK surpassed 70 million during the fourth quarter of 2007, finishing the year on 70.99 million. In total there were 4.10 million net additions during the year, up from 1.35 million in 2006, while on a proportionate basis the annual customer growth rate almost tripled from 2.1% to 6.2%. This was due in part to the one-off loss of 1.30 million customers in 2006 as a result of T-Mobile's change in policy regarding active users, but even if we discount this there would have been an increase in customer growth in 2007. This is despite the fact that penetration is well over 100%: at the end of 2007, in fact, the penetration rate had reached 116.5%, up from 110.1% a year earlier.

Customers and Annual Customer Growth Rate

Monthly ARPU - Top Four Operators

 
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Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 2:28:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A report published by Pyramid Research says that mobile data will account for 29 percent of the global mobile service revenue in 2012, up from 19 percent in 2007. Clearly, the mobile data opportunity is soaring: the 2007 mobile data revenue was more than double what it was in 2004, and Pyramid Research expects it to double again to $300 billion by 2012.

The report also said that more than 60 percent of worldwide mobile data revenue will come from developed markets through 2012, despite the fact that 85 percent of the world's population lives in emerging markets. However, mobile data revenue in emerging markets will grow more than 50 percent faster than developed markets from 2007 to 2012

Mobile data revenue outlook, 2007 to 2012: Developed vs. emerging markets

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Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 5:27:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

While Bluetooth has been in the market for almost a decade, it has not proliferated widely in Asia. In terms of consumer awareness, this region still lags behind others. However, the picture is changing, especially when it comes to cellular handsets, and a new study from ABI Research indicates that Bluetooth-enabled equipment shipments in Asia will reach 982 million units in 2013, representing a compound annual growth rate of 39% over 2006 shipments.

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Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 5:20:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 14, 2008

While a large number of phones today still use browsers with very limited web browsing capabilities, many smartphones are incorporating browsers that support the latest capabilities such as AJAX and RSS, as well as websites optimized for viewing on a mobile device. ABI Research sees this segment of the mobile browser market accounting for the vast majority of growth over the next five years, as the open-Internet browser (OIB) segment for mobile grows from 76 million in 2007 to nearly 700 million browsers delivered in 2013.

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Source: Cellular News.

Monday, April 14, 2008 9:21:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Global suppliers of services for telecom operators saw revenue increases across the board in 2007 as the total market grew to $70 billion, an 8% increase over 2006, according to Technology Business Research's Telecom Infrastructure Services (TIS) Market Model.

The TIS Market Model tracks market share of leading telecom equipment suppliers and provides forecasts for the rapidly-evolving market for selling deployment, maintenance, consulting & integration and managed services to telecom service providers.

Figure: Telecommunication Infrastructure Services Market Model

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Source: Cellular News.

Monday, April 14, 2008 9:16:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MUMBAI -(Dow Jones)- Indian telecommunications operator Bharti Airtel added 2.31 million mobile phone subscribers in March, industry data showed Friday.

As a result, Bharti's total mobile phone user base has grown to 61.98 million subscribers at the end of March, according to data released by the Cellular Operators Association of India.

In March, Vodafone Essar added 1.57 million mobile phone users taking its total subscriber base to 44.13 million, said COAI, which represents the 10 operators using the global system for mobile communications technology.

State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) added 1.64 million mobile phone users, taking its total subscriber base to 36.21 million at the end of March.

Idea Cellular added 1.13 million users and had 24 million mobile phone subscribers at the end of March.

Another state-run operator, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd., added 120,020 new mobile phone users in March and has a total subscriber base of 3.24 million

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, April 14, 2008 8:58:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 10, 2008

Malaysia’s Business Edge newspaper writes that Maxis Mobile is aiming to hit the target of two million 3G subscribers, having achieved the figure of 1.3 million by the end of March 2008. Maxis chief executive Sandip Das said: ‘As 3G services are increasingly being offered globally, we hope to see the prices of 3G handset devices falling. With that, we hope we will be able to cross the two million mark very shortly. Most of Malaysians buying new phones now are buying 3G-enabled phones, and that gives us a very big opportunity.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, April 10, 2008 2:24:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Iran had the fifth fastest growing mobile market in the MEA region in 2007, with the number of subscribers almost doubling year on year from 14.33m at the end of 2006 to 28.51m at the end of 2007. In absolute terms, no market in the region gained more new connections than Iran in 2007.

This extraordinary growth (a 98.9% annual increase) can be attributed to the launch of Irancell in the final quarter of 2006. Having added 0.15m customers in its first two months of operation, Irancell surpassed the 1m barrier during Q1 07, and during Q4 it went through 5m to finish the year on 6.01m customers. This represents a phenomenal annual growth rate of 3800%. On a quarterly basis, the 61.5% growth of Q4 was the lowest rate seen so far, but this was still higher than the year-on-year increase recorded by market leader Telecommunications Company of Iran (TCI).

Iran: Quarterly Net Additions, Irancell and TCI

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Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, April 10, 2008 2:22:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The trade body, 3G Americas has announced that the world now has 3 billion mobile phone users based on the GSM family (inc UMTS), based upon research and projections by Informa Telecoms and Media. Today, 88% of the world's 3.5 billion mobile wireless subscriptions are to the GSM family of technologies.

By comparison, there are only 850 million personal computers worldwide, forecast to reach 2 billion in the year 2015 (Forrester, June 2007). Three billion GSM based subscriptions is nearly triple the number of people accessing the Internet around the world, 1.1 billion. Fixed landline phones number just over this, at 1.3 billion globally. The closest technology in terms of number of electronic devices is the number of television sets. But even that number falls a full billion short of the 3 billion GSM family milestone, with an estimated 2 billion television sets in use today (Source: Communities Dominate Brands blog, Tomi Ahonen, January 2007).

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Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, April 10, 2008 2:01:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 09, 2008
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Africa's GSM mobile subscriber base is expected to jump by 20% to 316 million between now and the end of the year. GSM Africa, the African arm of world body GSM Association, said at the conference that penetration was expected to top 34% by the end of the year, from 29% at the end of 2007.

The number of subscribers will rise from 263 million to 316 million this year, Vitalis Olunga, Chairman of GSM Africa, said in a presentation at East Africa Com. Olunga said GSM networks were comprised of a bulk of service providers on the continent, with an average of about 140 live networks at the end of 2007.

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Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 1:52:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

GFK Vietnam has published a report into the local mobile telecoms market and has predicted that 8 million handsets will be sold this year - double the figure just 2 years ago. Revenues are projected to reach US1.1. billion.

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According to the retailer, around a third of customers brought handsets in the US$93-$188 price range - a rise of 24% over the past year. The company said that Nokia was the main beneficiary of the move up market as its market share rose by 10 percent.

Samsung Mobile's Director in Vietnam, Nguyen Hong Chau predicted that reasonably-priced products would account for as much as 60 percent of total market sales this year with mobile producers trying to develop new products to cater to different market segments.

The Mobile World analysts estimate that Vietnam ended last year with some 35.7 million subscribers (29.4m GSM, 6.3m CDMA) - representing a population penetration level of 42%.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 1:45:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Third generation mobile technologies accounted for their highest ever share of net additions in Middle East & Africa in Q4 2007 with 9.8% of the total - up very slightly on the 9.7% registered in Q3 2007. The trend in MEA so far shows that 3G additions in the fourth quarter of the year are generally weaker as a proportion of the total, following the pattern established in Europe. This may be due to the fact that fourth quarter sales tend to be driven by the Christmas market (and to some extent the Ramadan market, as some of the Ramadan period tends to fall in October) which generally involves the sale of lower-value cards and handsets, often as gifts.

% net additions W-CDMA, Q4 04 - Q4 07

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The vast majority of customers in MEA use GSM technology, although the percentage of the total base accounted for by GSM slipped below 95% for the first time in four years. At the end of 2003, 2.2pp of the 5pp remainder was accounted for by analogue networks, 2.4pp by CDMA and 0.3pp by iDEN. At the end of 2007, the handful of remaining analogue services contributed just 0.03% of the overall total, iDEN just 0.18% and CDMA 2.1%, whilst the largest part of the remainder was accounted for by W-CDMA with 3.1% of the total.

Bundling this together with GSM, we find that the GSM family maintained a 97.67% share of the market between the third and fourth quarters of 2007, although it lost 0.11pp of share over the 12 months to 31st December due to the fact that the CDMA connection base grew faster, by 56.1% to the GSM family's 41.1%.

Non GSM/W-CDMA Customers, by Technology

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Africa | Mobile
Wednesday, April 09, 2008 1:32:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to Armenialiberty.org, Vimpelcom plans to invest USD74 million this year in ArmenTel as part of the ongoing modernisation of the telco’s fixed and mobile networks. An estimated USD90 million was spent during 2007, and senior VimpelCom executives have said that the additional expenditure is aimed partly at reversing ArmenTel’s falling share of the wireless market. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, in June 2005 ArmenTel claimed 100% of the country’s wireless subscribers, but following the launch of MTS-backed VivaCell the company saw its share of the mobile market dwindle to just 24.3% by the end of 2007. Dmitry Pleskonos, a VimpelCom vice-chairman, blamed the drop on the ongoing upgrading of the ArmenTel network, which causes periodical disruptions in phone connection, and VivaCell’s aggressive marketing strategy. ‘We did not react sufficiently to the activity displayed by our business competitors,’ he told a news conference in Yerevan yesterday. Pleskonos and other VimpelCom executives were speaking to journalists as ArmenTel officially renamed its wireless division Beeline, the brand name used by VimpelCom and its other subsidiaries.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 9:11:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Argentine mobile operator Claro, owned by Mexican giant America Movil (AM), expects to invest USD1 billion within the next three years, reports BNamericas, quoting an interview with AM CEO Daniel Hajj in local paper La Nacion. The executive said the investment will be chiefly geared towards the expansion of the 3G network and new platforms. Claro, until last month known as CTI Movil, expects to obtain additional spectrum to achieve its expansion programme in the country, Hajj said. Rival cellco Movistar Argentina, owned by Spain’s Telefonica, was obliged to return 35MHz of spectrum in the 850MHz band as a condition of the merger of its two local units Movicom and Unifon in 2005. Hajj said Movistar should have returned the frequencies by the end of 2007, and called on the government to launch international bidding once the spectrum becomes available. Claro hopes to obtain the additional allocation to increase its penetration in the Buenos Aires area. In the meantime, the cellco expects to deploy 250 additional base stations this year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 9:09:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Natrindo Telepon Selular has revealed it plans to spend more than USD500 million deploying its network and expanding coverage in 2008. The cellco began offering revamped services in East Java in February 2008, and hopes to expand to the capital Jakarta by the end of April, before attaining nationwide coverage by the end of the year. The company is now using the brand name Axis as it seeks to distinguish itself from its previous incarnation – under the Lippo moniker – that failed to make any kind of dent in the market.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 9:06:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Cuban News Agency reports that USD250,000 worth of improvements are being made to the fixed line network in the south-central province of Cienfuegos by state-owned incumbent and monopoly telco Cuban Telephone Enterprise (ETECSA). The work includes the digitalisation of exchanges and the installation of new lines to the main medical centres in the province, and to residential zones close to a sugar mill and the oil refinery jointly operated by Cuba and Venezuela. ETECSA spokesman Luis Antuna said that although workers were ‘pushing themselves hard [for the] improvement of local telecommunications,’ the economic, financial and commercial blockade of Cuba by the US means that the cost of the necessary equipment for the project is around 30% higher than it should be.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 9:00:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 08, 2008

ABI Research is forecasting that global GSM subscriber growth to slow from a year-on-year rate of over 22% in 2006/07 to 14% in 2008/09, mainly due to the increased migration of subscribers to UMTS 3G technologies. UMTS (including HSDPA) experienced a nearly 83% year-on-year growth rate in 2006/07. ABI Research expects global GSM subscriber numbers to show a negative growth rate starting in 2013, as by then GSM will become less attractive compared to the cheaper 3G services; there will also be losses due to the proliferation of mobile WiMAX and 4G networks.

“Within the GSM subscriber population, EDGE is expected to maintain a high growth rate following increased deployments in emerging markets,” says Asia-Pacific vice president Jake Saunders. “Nonetheless, GSM (including EDGE and GPRS) is still expected to have the highest number of subscribers of all mobile technologies, with a 70% global market share in 2013 (dropping from 78% in 2007.)”

Meanwhile the W-CDMA (including HSDPA and HSPA) global market share is expected to increase from a little over 5% in 2007 to nearly 14% in 2013.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

3G | Mobile | World
Tuesday, April 08, 2008 10:37:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 07, 2008

Russia’s largest cellular operator, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), will report revenues of more than USD8 billion for 2007, up 25% on the 2006 figure. Though full financial statistics have still to be released for 2007, MTS says its annual sales growth beat its own forecasts of around 22%. MTS had 85 million mobile subscribers in Russia and the CIS at the end of 2007, including 57.4 million in its domestic market. Last week MTS was reported to have made a USD1 billion offer to acquire smaller rival SMARTS Group, though the company has still to comment on the reports.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, April 07, 2008 2:04:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Nokia India expects that the country will have 500 million mobile phone users by 2010 - with 60 million of them having mobile video capability and 100 million using mobile music services. Speaking at the Goafest conclave, vice-president and managing director Nokia India, D Shivakumar, salso said that half the subscribers would be accessing the internet via their mobile phone.

He said, “Mobile phones are not just about voice anymore. Services delivered through mobiles would open up a big opportunity for the advertisers in India with a huge untapped potential.”

He broke the market down into three core sections. The top end of the market will be limited to some 50 million customers with mid-range but value oriented customers making up some 150 million subscribers. The third tier, he said is unique to India and would be dominated by low cost basic handsets with minimal functionality.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, April 07, 2008 9:13:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to a Harris Interactive survey, the use of cell phones is increasing and traditional landline telephone coverage is decreasing. In fact, one in five US adults do not have a landline and only 79 percent currently do. One in seven adults now uses only cell phones. Furthermore, while the use of cell phones among younger segments of the population has been widely reported, the technology is becoming increasingly popular among older populations as well. Remarkably, about half of U.S. adults who only use a cell phone are 30 or over. One-third of 18 to 29 year olds only use a cell phone or the Internet for making phone calls.

These are some of the results of a special analysis of four surveys conducted online between October 2007 and January 2008 by Harris Interactive. In total 9,132 adults were surveyed. This data was then weighted where necessary to bring it into line with the total population.

Specifically, the research finds that:

  • Almost nine in ten (89%) of adults have a wireless or cell phone. This represents a significant increase from 77 percent in October - December 2006 when The Harris Poll conducted a similar analysis;
  • Almost eight in ten (79%) adults say that they have a landline phone. This is down slightly from 81 percent in 2006;
  • About one is six (15%) of adults use the Internet, sometimes referred to as VoIP of Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol, to make telephone calls. This is basically unchanged from 16 percent in 2006.
  • Three-quarters (75%) of U.S. adults are using multiple approaches to making telephone calls. This is a substantial increase from 67 percent in October - December 2006.
  • Fourteen percent (14%) are only using their cell phone (up from 11% in 2006).
  • Just 9 percent (down from 18% in 2006) of U.S. adults only use a landline phone.
  • Six percent (6%) are only using a cell phone and VoIP.
Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, April 07, 2008 9:07:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 04, 2008

Taiwanese 3G mobile operator Vibo Telecom yesterday said that it planned to lower its capital spending by 44% this year to focus on further improving its network coverage with the aim of reaching 98% of the population by the end of 2008. The celco plans to spend TWD2 billion (USD66 million) mainly on adding new 3G base stations and upgrading some existing base stations to the HSDPA 3.5G standard. In 2007, Vibo spent TWD3.6 billion on new equipment. The company currently has 4,500 base stations nationwide, and hopes for another 1,000 to be operational by year end. It has about 600,000 subscribers at present and is planning to have more than one million by the end of this year. Company President Chang Feng-hsiung said that Vibo hopes for revenues of TWD6 billion in 2008, which would be a 43% increase on last year's TWD4.19 billion. The company is also considering a new round of share sales to raise funds for operational expenses.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, April 04, 2008 7:55:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Privately owned Thai telco TT&T’s consolidated revenues in 2007 rose by 8% to THB6.932 billion (USD222 million), largely driven by broadband sales, according to a company release. Despite the turnover increase, the operator recorded a net loss of THB2.028 billion, almost double the loss of THB1.08 billion recorded in 2006. Moreover, the earnings before exchange rate and income tax gains worsened year-on-year from a net loss of THB2.372 billion in 2006 to a net loss of THB2.606 in 2007 due mainly to the decline in revenue from fixed line voice services and start-up operating costs of new services which are expected to generate a large proportion of revenue in the future. TT&T had 1.23 million local fixed lines in service at the end of December 2007, down from 1.24 million a year before.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, April 04, 2008 7:54:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MoneyWeb South Africa reports broadband subscriber numbers in the country have tipped the one million mark. Telkom is still the leading broadband provider with 420,000 subscribers for its ADSL service, but Vodacom is gaining ground with 370,000 registered HSDPA users. MTN is also showing significant growth in the mobile broadband arena with 120,000 subscribers, according to the article. ADSL and HSDPA users account for over 90% of all broadband subscribers in South Africa. The other 10% is accounted for by fixed wireless access provider iBurst with 60,000 subscribers, and various wireless ISPs (45,000). However, there is still plenty of room for growth in the market as the broadband penetration rate is currently only 2%, compared to the OECD average of 18.8%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, April 04, 2008 7:51:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |